More about Arenas del Mar Beach and Nature Resort
Arenas Del Mar -- Terrific; can't wait to go back!
My wife and I spent 4 nights at this hotel and it was our favorite place out of the 3 hotels we visited on our Costa Rican trip. The location is fantastic, with ocean/cliff views and a short walk to a long, beautiful beach. The small, private beach with pool and bar is nice too, but we preferred the larger public beach. You can also walk to Manuel Antonio National Park, which is a big plus.
The room was gorgeous, albeit a bit small. That said, it was extremely comfortable, well decorated and had a huge patio complete with comfy chairs, a wet bar and even a fan outside. The shower is huge and feels like you're bathing in a museum. The rest of the resort is top notch, with a pretty pool setting and an open air feel to the whole place.
Food wise, all was well. We had found at other high end hotels, that the food was never very good. But, here it was delicious for all meals. And, the staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome and comfortable. From the moment you arrive and they give you a cool cloth and a fantastic "welcome drink," you'll likely never want to leave.
Loved this place!
Place for Naturalists with Comfort Needs
Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio and Arenas del Mar have created long lasting memories in our family. The resort location and view are astonishing.
We could enjoy the beauty and wilderness of nature while staying in a comfortable and nice resort. The staff kindness is superior to the world class resorts we have stayed at. Certainly, it helps to stay in low season where the staff is less stressed, however, we were very surprised to see in their people the pride they have in their resort, their environmental values and their country.
We absolutely felt like staying in our Costa Rican home.
On the other hand it is a new hotel and there are things that need improvement. The spa is really small, though you do not need it with the array of activities you can have in the area.
The naturalists who guide you in the tours are very knowledgeable and speak english fluently.
How Can This Be a Member of the Small Distincitive Hotel Group?
Our one bedroom ocean view apartment actually viewed the trees; but we could easily hear the ocean and were visited by the monkeys which hung out in the trees. Glad the hotel kept the trees for the wildlife rather than removed them to improve the view for tourists. The trees also keep the balconies with large jazuzzi private. But the room was not an ocean view as advertised. The beach in front of our room has been a nude beach for years, and the presence of this hotel is causing tension between the local men who swim minus trunks and the hotel. There is a great beach just south of there that is beautiful, so if nudity is a problem, one call walk to other beach (15 mins). While we were there the police arrived and a few of the men tried to get into a screaming match with the police and hotel staff, but it was all just a bit too much drama. Its unfortunate for both sides.
Lower level pool was not very clean, seemed to be attended to once a day (early morning) and that was it for the day.
Have no idea how this hotel can be awarded among the Most Distinctive Small Hotels of Costa Rica...very inexperienced waitstaff/bartenders (not all, but most) and average food. They have a very small wine list, and they were actually out of our first two choices every night. We ended up just asking them what they had to offer.
Eduardo at Reception was very helpful with tour suggestions and went above and beyond to help us.
Perhaps we were disappointed after spending the previous five days at the exceptional Florblanca on the Nicoya peninsula. Perhaps Arenas del Mar will someday be worth the money they are now charging for their rooms, but given the location and building design, we don't see how it will ever be anything more than average.
This is completely a 5 star resort with wonderful views, wonderful location with respect to Manuel Antonio, wonderful room and excellent food. The breakfast that is included with your stay is really tasty and you can choose what you want from their typical menu - which is really unusual for an "included breakfast". Every morning was a delightful experience in their tastefully decorated restaraunt that had ocean views and wonderful fresh squeezed juice. The rooms are extremely comfortable, clean and beautiful -- if you get a suite you will enjoy the jacuzzi out on the balcony every night while listening to the waves and looking at the stars. During the day, we spent time by the pool sipping their wonderful drinks (I am serious about this - the best margarita ever) and sitting on the beach. My husband boogie boarded a bit on a few of the days in the enormous waves and had a wonderful time. The beach is a bit dangerous on one side of the property but it is beautiful and we saw a troop of about 15 monkies go through the property in the middle of the day on one occasion. On the other side of the property the surf is a little bit safer and you can walk on the beach all the way into town. The staff was EXTREMELY helpful in reserving our activities and flights (we hadn't decided how we were going to get to San Jose - but they took care of it all - finding the least expensive and time efficient route). They were extremely flexible and changed the dates of our stay when I was making the reservations and even changed the dates of one of our activities when one of the members of our group got sick. We are definitely going to return to Arenas del Mar and it will likely be the reason for our return to Costa Rica with our family in the future!
Small Distictive Hotel (In Traing, Maybe)
My wife and I began our Costa Rican journey at another Small Distinctive Hotel on the Nicoyan peninsula. We had a fabulous stay there and that may be part of the reason I was disapointed with Arenas del Mar.
I expected the professionalism and quality of the experience that had ended hours prior to our arrival in Manuel Antonio.
The driver picked us up at Quepos airport and delivered us at the entrance to the hotel grounds. From there a golf cart will pick up you and your luggage and drive you up a circuitous concrete incline to the reception area. I can't say how long the ride is but it would have been a long walk up hill.
The drivers of these carts that I met were all courteous, helpful and friendly.
From the open reception area are views of the sea to the front beyond the main swimming pool and woodland to the rear. We were welcomed with a lovely tropical drink from the bar near reception. Shortly thereafter we were again borded onto a golf cart and driven to our room well below the main building near the lower pool. Our room over looked the infamous gay nude public beach in one direction and the lower pool. The room was quite nice with ample ceiling fans in the sitting room, bed room and veranda to help keep us cool. Previous reviews are correct in their assesment of the bedding; very nice and comfortable.
The only problem was that the house keeprs were as likely to leave the air conditioned bed room door open to the other un-air conditioned rooms when they were finished with their chores. Instead of a nice cool bed room after lunch or dinner you might have 30+ dgrees to relax in.
The hotel is physically comprised of glass and steel structures with a smattering of thatch and nice tile work throughout. To look at the place you might think there are a hundred rooms, instead of 35 or so. Both pools are lovely and usually pretty clean.
All of the staff were eager to please. Unfortunately for them, they are at the mercy of the owners and or upper management. For all of their eagernees they are undertrained. A couple of my favorites were Eduardo who was in charge of local activities planning and Elias, one of the wait staff. Elias was charming and very helpful. His food and wine recommendations were great, except they were limited in their stores making it difficult to impossible to fulfill his recommendation.
Eduardo has loads of experience and it showed. He quickly became our go-to-guy.
The hotel layout in the hillside makes the golf carts absolutely necessary to get from your room to reception/dining/bar, but they make a low key existence on the property impossible.
The overall experience was good. I felt overcharged for a stay in a beginner hotel traing facility. Again, all of the trainees were top notch candidates for their positions; it's a management problem.
We have just returned from 4 nights at Arenas del Mar. The hotel is a luxurious hideaway situated in the rainforest 5 minutes away by car from Manuel Antonio National Park. One of the only negatives I have was finding the place. The turn off from the main road from Quepos was not marked. Several other hotel signs including Casa Blanca and Hotel Mariposa are at the same turn off. If you drive yourself, make sure that you look for these signs and then continue until you see the turnoff for Arenas. You will arrive at a dirt parking lot with a reception area. Parking is monitored and free. From the reception area you will be transported by electric golf cart to the main lobby. The hotel is situated on top of a hill in the rainforest and extending down to the beach. We were met with a delicious welcome drink. And clean face towel.
Check-in was effortless. We booked a suite. Our room was 302 A. The room was beautifully decorated and included a sitting area consisting of couches and chair, mini-bar area. The balcony was spacious with it's own private jacuzzi that you fill yourself with your own water temperature. There are rattan lounges and a separate sitting area in front of the bedroom.
The bedroom and bath are a luxury with top quality linens, satellite flat-screen tv, king featherbed with duvet. The masterbath..(there are two full baths in the suite) is spectacular with an open walk-in shower with glass block outside wall. Pendant lights grace the granite countertops of a double sink lavatory. The only thing we didn't use was the bidet.
The pools are clean and well kept. The views from the entire complex are spectacular. The property is very steep and most people utilize the golf car service for transportation. The beaches are beautiful with a mixed grey sand. A guard is present at he smaller beach to help you with a lounge and watch your belongs. The only down side to the smaller beach which can be somewhat embarrassing is that the ("playita" as it is known) is a well known gay beach. During the week we only saw 2 or 3 couples, however, during weekend 30- 50 male couples were present many with outward displays of affection.
I would not recommend this beach for children. There is a nice larger beach with gentler current also accessible called Playa Espadrill. The only down side is that you have to take one of their golf carts to the path that leads to the beach.
Overall, the food was great, but venturing out for some local fare is recommended. If you try to eat several meals at the restaraunt, the menu becomes redundant. The staff was always friendly and courtious. I would reconfirm every reservation that you make thru the concierge. This is a new property and the concierge staff is young and inexperienced.
24 hour free internet is available at the front desk and all rooms are connected with Wifi.
Our visit was exceptional. This a great place to relax. The zip-line canopy tour was excellent. We hope you enjoy your trip as much as we did.
Great Property - not the best or most convenient though
This brand new hotel is set on an amazing piece of property. Great location, lots of wildlife and very nice views.
The restaurant is overpriced for the area. Food was very good, but there are a lot of other choices in town that provide the same service and quality for much cheaper prices.
As for the gay nude beach, the patrons of the beach actually keep a very low profile. The hotel called the police while we were there and it created way too much drama.
The currents and submerged rocks are VERY DANGEROUS.
This is a wonderful place to stay. The rooms are luxurious (more space than we needed), the views incomparable, the food top-notch and, most important, the staff super friendly, helpful and accommodating. We did not use their little beach, as the water was too rough and there were rip currents, but we spent a lot of time at one of the two pools. It was quiet, and we could observe lots of wildlife from poolside. One of the staff even ran out from the kitchen area to get my daughter (who was floating in the pool) to let her know that she could see a coati mundi from the dining area. That's just the way they were. it is at the end of a very rough road, but we have plenty of paved roads here in Chicago; not a big deal. I would highly recommend it.
Loved this hotel
My family and I stayed here for 4 nights in April. We loved the property, beach, and rooms. We were in a oceanfront suite which were more than large enough for my husband and 2 children. The balcony had a jacuzzi and lounge chairs which overlooked the ocean and part of Manuel Antonio State Park. Although there were a few glitches, the staff is more than accomodating which makes up for it. They are very willing to please and even carried extra lounge chairs down to the small beach for us. There are monkeys allover the property in addition to the MA state park next door.
We found the food very enjoyable and to be a good value. We never ventured into town for dinner because our children were too tired from very active days.
I would definitelely stay here again!
Arenas Del Mar
If anyone knows anything about this hotel mostly about bringing children and a wedding i would appreceate the info. what are the beaches like and are they safe for swimming or snorkling?
Thanks in Advance